Canada extends command NATO Mission in Iraq
Canadian Armed Forces will continue to command NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) for a second year, until November 2020, announced Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan today.
To lead the troops in this second year, BGen. Jennie Carignan will take command of NATO Mission Iraq in the fall of this year and be promoted to the rank of MGen. Carignan assumes command from MGen. Dany Fortin, the current commander since Nov. 2018.
“Our message is clear – Canada is ready to lead and stand with our Allies. We are committed to supporting a more peaceful and prosperous world that benefits Canadians and global citizens alike. We know that combating threats to global stability reinforces security and prosperity at home, and this is why we are happy to work with NATO and continue our command role of NATO Mission Iraq. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan
“I am also pleased that Brigadier-General Carignan, an accomplished leader, will assume command of the mission following her promotion to the rank of Major-General,” said Sajjan in a statement.
As the new commander of NATO Mission Iraq, BGen. Carignan will guide forces in helping to build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions, advancing Security Sector Reform, and strengthening its military schools. This non-combat, advisory training mission is founded on the basis of full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Specifically, NATO personnel train instructors at Iraqi military schools and academies in the areas of countering improvised explosive devices, civil-military planning, armoured vehicle maintenance and medical care.
BGen. Carignan is currently the Commander of 2nd Canadian Division and Joint Task force East based in Quebec. She has held several command positions including Commander of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment, Commander of Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment, and Commandant of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean. She also deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Golan Heights, and Afghanistan.
During his time as commander of NATO Mission Iraq, MGen. Fortin has led several hundred trainers, advisors and support staff from Allied countries and non-NATO partners, including Australia, Sweden, and Finland, as well as up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces members.
According to a Department of National Defence press release, Canada’s command of NATO Mission Iraq complements the existing efforts towards the Global Coalition against Daesh and ongoing support towards Iraq.
“Together with its NATO Allies and the Government of Iraq, Canada is committed to work towards lasting peace and security for the people of Iraq and the surrounding region. We are proud to assume command of NATO Mission Iraq for a second year and support the people of Iraq and new initiatives that will enhance security and regional stability,” said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs.